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Sutley v. New Jersey Department of Corrections

Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division

November 6, 2013

MARIANNE SUTLEY, Appellant,
v.
NEW JERSEY DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent

NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION

Submitted October 1, 2013

On appeal from the New Jersey Department of Corrections.

Marianne Sutley, appellant pro se.

John J. Hoffman, Acting Attorney General, attorney for respondent (Lisa A. Puglisi, Assistant Attorney General, of counsel; Andrew J. Sarrol, Deputy Attorney General, on the brief).

Before Judges Alvarez and Carroll.

PER CURIAM

Marianne Sutley, who is no longer in custody, [1] in June 2012, while housed at Edna Mahan Correctional Facility, filed an appeal of her adjudication of guilt and the imposition of sanctions on prohibited act *.101, escape, N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). Those sanctions, as modified by Department of Corrections Administrator Hauck on Sutley's initial appeal, included fifteen days detention with credit for time served, 270 days of administrative segregation, 365 days loss of commutation time, fourteen hours extra duty, and thirty days loss of recreation privileges. We affirm.

At the time of the incident, Sutley was a resident at the Garrett Halfway House in Camden. She was granted a furlough on April 1, 2012, and was required to return by 10:00 p.m. At some unspecified time that day, Sutley's daughter contacted Garrett House and informed staff that Sutley had taken her car without permission and that she was no longer welcome at the furlough site. At 3:05 p.m., staff spoke with Sutley and advised that she was to return to the facility by 4:30 p.m. because of this development.

Miguel Gomez, a program assistant at Garrett House, received numerous calls from Sutley while working the 12:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. shift the following day, April 2. Although Gomez repeatedly informed Sutley that she had to return to the facility as soon as possible, and Sutley remained in contact with staff at the Garrett House, she did not return until the morning of April 2, 2012. In the interim, an order for her arrest was issued by the Garden State Correctional Facility.

Sutley later insisted that her failure to return at the scheduled time was merely the result of a miscommunication between herself and staff, and her inability to obtain transportation until the following morning. As a result of this incident, Sutley was charged with escape and .257, violating a condition of a community release program. N.J.A.C. 10A:4-4.1(a). She is not appealing the latter adjudication.

The disciplinary hearing on the charges commenced on April 4, 2012, before Hearing Officer Russell. Sutley was assigned counsel substitute, and the hearing concluded on April 16, 2012.

In her defense, Sutley raised the same argument that she now makes on appeal, namely, that there was merely a misunderstanding between herself and staff, and that she had no access to a vehicle to return to Garrett House. She explained that she maintained constant contact with staff during the night once she realized that she had a transportation problem. Sutley called no witnesses, nor did she cross-examine any adverse witnesses.

Hearing Officer Russell found Sutley guilty of the *.101 charge because none of her statements contradicted the staff report and therefore amounted to an admission of guilt. In his opinion, the fact that she arrived at her furlough site at 9:30 p.m. on April 1, 2012, and only ...


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